FRISCO, Texas — In a group of 400 players, it takes a lot for a single person to stand out on the field. But if there are two of you, the odds slightly improve.
After making the first cut to reach the Sunday morning training session at Pizza Hut Park for 2011 Sueño MLS with 22 other players, twins Anthony (pictured above) and Antonio Ortega took the field to try to impress FC Dallas coaches enough earn a spot on a youth team.
To their father, Jose Antonio, his sons have been playing the game a long time.
“Since before they were born,” said he during Sunday’s Sueño festivities here. “I’m a soccer player myself. They have played all their lives and I have coached them all their lives.”
According to Anthony – who’s identical to his brother from smile to dark mustache to body build – their approximate starting age in soccer was around 3 years old. But while they look exactly the same, except for Anthony’s slightly longer hair, their styles on the field couldn’t be any more different.
Antonio (pictured right) is a defender and Anthony, though listed as a forward, prefers the center midfield spot on the pitch, but says, “It doesn’t matter if it’s attacking or defending.”
So what exactly are the dreams of a 16-year-old soccer player? It’s go big or go home for Anthony.
“I would like to at least play for some kind of professional team and make my way to better teams like Manchester United or Chelsea,” he said.
Like many young soccer players, Anthony cites Cristiano Ronaldo as his favorite soccer star and the brothers also spend their spare time playing the world’s game in a different reality.
“They play video games,” said their father. “It’s something that I don’t understand. Why do they like video games more than watching the real game? I watch any game – it doesn’t matter who is playing!”
When asked to describe his sons, Mr. Ortega said that their “best quality is that they are quiet” and that “they aren’t too aggressive of players that they get yellow and red cards, but they play as a team.”
The brothers Ortega not only play as a team, but since they began playing soccer, they have not split up on the field.
“We play all the time,” said Anthony. “In every team that we’ve played with, we have played with each other.”
Both of the Ortega twins currently play for their school, Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, and realize how difficult the path is to becoming a professional soccer player. And to get that opportunity, the Ortega twins – who celebrated their 17th birthdays on April 11, the day after Dallas’ Sueño MLS ended – would be coming one step closer to reaching their goal.
“[The FC Dallas coaches] told me to try hard and go 100 percent,” said Anthony. “It makes me feel good that people are trying to help me accomplish my dreams.”